User:Shifuimam/Suggestion for skill search

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As originally suggested here and here, I think that there is a valid use for the ability to dynamically generate a skill table based on user-selected categories. This functionality would allow users to view a filtered table of skills based on any of the existing skill categories.

Some example scenarios:

  • A PvP-only player who wants to filter out skills under Category:PvE versions of skills, as those are irrelevant to a PvP-only build.
  • A player with a Mesmer character that focuses on Domination Magic. Some skills rely on a foe already having a Mesmer hex applied, so this would allow filtering on only Domination Magic hex spells.
  • Skills that are enhanced if conditions exist on the target foe - you could search for skills of a specific attribute that specifically cause Bleeding, for example.
  • Secondary professions - for example, if you need to see skills that don't require attribute points on a profession's primary attribute, but haven't yet decided which secondary profession attribute you want to use.
  • Energy and health regeneration - these are critical to just about any build, and it's important to be able to see such skills filtered by the attributes you are focusing on in your build, since most players are not going to be spreading their limited attribute points across every single attribute available to their profession combination.

While it is a valid point that the cross section of certain skill types and profession attributes (e.g. Axe Mastery and Axe Attacks, Scythe Mastery and Scythe Attacks) are identical or nearly identical, this is only the case for a small subset of professions and their attributes and skill types. As such this should not negate the consideration of this suggestion.

As of now, Template:Skill table only allows for including a maximum of three categories and excluding a maximum of ten categories. The DynamicPageList extension that this template uses allows for much more, and it should be fairly trivial to accommodate more than three categories for use in the skill table template.

My user page has some examples of skill tables by profession and skill type. Some of these do only have one or two skills - however, my goal was to make tables based on this criteria, agnostic to the results of that criteria. If the ability to dynamically generate these tables based on inputted filters were made possible, it's certainly a possibility that the results would be one or two skills. This isn't "broken" or a bad way of doing things - it's just what happens when you search on specific criteria.

Ultimately, what I think would be both useful and user-friendly is a simple web form that allows selecting categories from a list, using checkboxes - e.g. select your profession, then select up to five categories to display and up to five categories to exclude. Semantic MediaWiki may allow the creation of such a form with its built in functionality; if not, it would be worth looking at the web form extensions available for MediaWiki and determining if any of those would make such functionality possible on the Guild Wars wiki.

It is true that the existing skill category pages provide a list of skills for that category, such as List of enchantment spells. However, this obviously lists every single enchantment for every profession and attribute in the game, which is an unnecessarily large amount of information when working on a skill build. It's difficult to sort through, and the sheer number of results can cause the page to load slowly.